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Starting an Online Store? Here’s A Road Map

Starting an online business is usually a good business idea. It’s advisable that you prepare everything that you need before launching your business. Online business ideas with a lot of potential usually take a lot of resources and preparation. Preparing beforehand will help you get ahead of the competition.

1.  A Business Plan

Coming up with a business plan seems to be a challenging task. You might think it’s a hassle but it will definitely be useful in establishing your business.

Remember: Successful businesses have business plans.

2.  A Reliable Source for Your Product

It is essential that you have more than one wholesale source for your product. Also, you should make sure that your supply line is steady before investing your money.

3.  A Good Domain Name

A good domain name is short, catchy and, most importantly, can be easily typed. Any difficult word that’s hard to spell should be avoided.

It’s better to use “.com” than “.net, since most browsers default to the former.

4.  A Reliable Web Host

Your Web hosting service provides the necessary support that is essential for your business’ operation. Hosting companies usually charge a monthly fee; however, it’s important to note that the cheapest isn’t always the best choice.

5.  A Web Designer

Some entrepreneurs have the wrong notion that they can easily design their own website with the use of Web design software packages.

It’s essential that you choose a Web design firm carefully, and be willing to pay for quality work.

6.  E-Commerce Software

E-commerce Software runs all the processes in your store, from product display to inventory management to checkout. Choosing your e-commerce software can be difficult. You’ll have to try running it for a while before you fully discover if it’s appropriate for your business.

7.  Knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Your site needs to rank high on search engines like Google and Yahoo for you to get enough traffic for your business to thrive. Your competitors can excel in this area and even hire SEO experts to ensure the high ranking of their site.

This means that you will also have to hire an SEO expert. It’s expensive, but worth it nonetheless.

8.  An Accounting Package

It’s inevitable that you’ll have endless expenses even before your business earns money. Through an accounting program, you’ll be able to determine whether or not your business is indeed earning money.

A small business favorite is Intuit’s QuickBooks, and Sage’s Peachtree is also popular.

9.  A Security System and Data Backup

In these dangerous times where the Internet is full of thieves and scammers, you’ll need reliable software to protect your site. The McAfee Internet Security Suite 2006 is favored by small business owners because it’s able to guard against all kinds of viruses and hackers.

10.  A Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is definitely important. An effective marketing campaign is the key to a business’ success. You shouldn’t be thrifty on this one. The more you can spend on advertising, the better. Here are some basics when coming up with your marketing plan:

  • There are different kinds of free marketing. One option is to list your site on Google’s comparison shopping engine, Froogle, which is free.
  • Using an e-mail newsletter updates your shoppers on special deals and offers and is an effective sales technique.

Following these steps will ensure that you are able to start off your business on the right track. It’s important to remember that it takes time, continued investment and hard work to build a business.



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Lorna Li

Chief Evolutionary Officer at Entrepreneurs for a Change
Lorna Li is a business coach, entrepreneur and Amazon rainforest crusader, with a passion for green business, social enterprise, and indigenous wisdom. She helps changemaking entrepreneurs harness the power of the Internet to reach more people and make a bigger impact, while designing the lifestyle of their dreams. She is an Internet marketing consultant to changemakers, and works with innovative tech startups, sustainable brands, social enterprises & B-Corporations on SEO, SEM & Social Media marketing.
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